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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Seven Things You Learn From Every Curling Story

Illustration for article titled The Seven Things You Learn From Every Curling Story

Nothing says Winter Olympics like a "clueless reporter tries curling" story. (Except maybe the "here's a black Winter Olympian!" story.) We take you through a typical curling experience, as seen through the eyes of every reporter ever.

Isn't Curling Wacky?

"Like most U.S. citizens, I was born thinking curling is a joke, just another goofy Canadian quirk." Zachary Lewis, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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"I'm sitting on my behind. On a block of ice. Trying to figure out again what the allure of curling is all about." - Tom Hoffarth, LA Daily News

"Most folks know it as the sport where people slide around, push rocks, sweep a lot and holler at each other." - Danny Bernardini, The Reporter

"You know curling, right? It's that sport where broom-wielding athletes madly sweep the ice in front of a slowly sliding lump of polished granite. Riveting." - James A. Fussell, KC Star

"Uh, oh, what kind of stupid questions does this guy have to reduce our sport to a circus act? Compare us to shuffleboard players? Ask where's the keg and cigs? What's it like for a non-athlete to be in the Olympics?" - Michael Hunt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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"When I told friends I wanted to try curling, the endeavor was met with equal parts fascination and amusement." - JR Radcliffe, Lake Country Reporter

Curling Costs A Lot

"Ken said two curling stones cost upwards of $750..." - JR Radcliffe

"My instrucor was wearing $100 curling shoes, toting a $150 carbon-fiber USA curling broom and at one point actually used a curling stone with his father's name printed on it." - James A. Fussell

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"[It] could cost you $400 a piece for the lower-end stones" - Spencer Hall, SB Nation

"...a pair of $200 specialized shoes with cool sliders on the bottom..." - Tom Hoffarth

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"I'd also need to invest a few hundred dollars in a membership and curling-specific shoes and gloves." - Zachary Lewis

You Fall Down A Lot, And Use A Colorful Metaphor For It

"I was flat on my stomach, sprawled out on the target in front of me as if I'd just fallen out of an airplane without a parachute and landed on a pond in Alaska." - Tom Hoffarth

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"I failed to execute the preferred form. Sprawled cartoonishly on the ground, arms extended and legs splayed, I looked more like a perp who'd been hit by a Taser." - James A. Fussell

"I contorted myself while pushing off on a device similar to a track starting block. With the grace of a water buffalo on stilts, I was soon sliding across the ice." - Danny Bernardini

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You Pick It Up Really Quickly

"With my fourth rock thrown, I had landed in the house; which is a target area where curlers earn points." - Christy Marsters, The Hants Journal

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"[O]nce, I was finally able to actually release the stone, give it the curl." - Tom Hoffarth

"In our last game I eased off the hack, let go of a stone, and watched it float behind some furious brushstrokes and loud yelling by our skip right on to the center dot of the house." - Spencer Hall

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"After several rough attempts, I began to get it. I wasn't as stable as he was, but I wasn't bad." James A. Fussell

"I was delighted when two or three made their way into the target area, leaving me feeling like maybe I could play this game, after all." - JR Radcliffe

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Sweeping Is Hard, Though

"It's cold out there, but trot up and down the ice for two hours furiously scrubbing away while chasing a sliding rock, and you'll earn the postgame beers plus some." - Spencer Hall

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"I tried sweeping, and it requires a real physical effort." - Christy Marsters

"Then there's the sweeping, an aerobic beatdown all on its own..." Michael Hunt

" Sweeping is simpler to learn but more demanding physically. It's nowhere near as easy as it looks or sounds." - Zachary Lewis

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Curling Makes You Sore

"[T]he slightly injured patella that resulted in my lower extremities screaming at me for a couple days afterward." - Danny Bernardini

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"I needed to regroup and rub out my sore legs." - Tom Hoffarth

"I got a tad winded, my leg muscles began to burn, and I actually started to sweat in a 40-degree ice rink." James A. Fussell

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"[I]t was surprising to feel my leg muscles were cramped." - Christy Marsters

"Once, I slipped and fell, landing hard on my tailbone, but even after I got the hang of it, I could tell this was a legitimate cardiovascular activity." - Zachary Lewis

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Curling Is Fun!

"You may not have known what was going on, but like Tetris if you gave it longer than thirty seconds you were utterly hooked." - Spencer Hall

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"As for me, when I'm on the podium receiving my medal in the 2022 Olympics, I'll always have the memory of sliding my first curling stone." - Danny Bernardini

"This was magnificent! I love this sport!" - James A Fussell

"There are far worse reasons to get out of the house on a winter's night." - Michael Hunt

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